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Vegetables, Vegetarian

Beets With Ricotta Salata and Olives

A few weeks ago I attended a chef's potluck dinner in Northern California. Everyone who was asked to bring a vegetable dish brought a salad of red and golden beets, as did I. Last week in New York, one of ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds beets
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1/4 pound ricotta salata cheese, thinly sliced
  • 8 Kalamata olives
  • Freshly ground pepper

Step 1Leaving 1 inch of stem and all of the roots, steam beets until they're tender-firm when pierced with a knife, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool, then slip off skins. Cut beets in quarters or sixths, keeping different colors, if using, separate.

Step 2Pound garlic and salt in a mortar until smooth, then stir in lemon juice and olive oil. Dressing should be a little on the tart side. Toss each kind of beet in enough dressing to coat lightly.

Step 3Arrange beets on a platter and garnish with arugula leaves. Just before serving, tuck cheese among greens, along with olives. If any dressing remains, spoon it over cheese. Season with pepper.

Note: From Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" (Broadway, 1997).
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